No. 20 Virginia Tech played its fourth straight ranked ACC matchup against No. 5 Florida State at Thompson Field on Oct. 10. The Hokies’ last game against No.10 Duke resulted in a tie, 0–0. In that game, goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn had an impressive seven saves. On Thursday night, Tech looked to solidify its first win ever against the defending national champions.
Virginia Tech ended up falling short in double overtime in a very eventful and aggressive meeting.
“I thought we battled back and the team had a really gutsy effort,” said head coach Chugger Adair. “We learned we can stand up with the best of them, and that’s something we have to take away from this.”
The game marked the Hokies’ third contest without star kicker Emily Gray, who is ruled out for the season with an ACL tear. Gray contributed four goals on the season before her injury during Virginia Tech’s loss to Virginia on Sept. 26.
“It’s a hard person to lose, and I think the girls have done a good job stepping into the midfield and playing,” Adair said. “We lose a lot of savviness on the ball and our technical ability to move forward.”
During regulation, Virginia Tech found the scoreboard first after some strong defense that kept the ball primarily near Florida State’s half of the field. Molly Feighan made the goal from just outside the 18-yard box in the 10th minute of play for her second goal of the year and Tech’s first goal against Florida State since the 2014 season. Feighan found herself with the ball again in the 13th minute and shot at the goal, but just barely missed the far post. After the goal, both teams started to play a bit more aggressively and three fouls were called in the first 16 minutes.
Florida State answered in the 18th minute with Deyna Castellanos’s eighth goal of the season to tie the game up at one apiece.
Both teams went scoreless the rest of the first half, and the Seminoles brought the pressure; the Hokies could not keep possession of the ball for more than a few moments. Florida State outshot Virginia Tech in the first half 9–4.
Makala Thomas was able to break the tie and score for the Seminoles in the 58th minute, putting more pressure on Virginia Tech’s defense to show out the rest of the game. Immediately after, a close call on Tech’s goal sent McGlynn to the ground. After an injury scare for the centerpiece of Virginia Tech’s team, McGlynn remained in the game. She proved her health with a save in the 61st minute of play.
Thomas received her first yellow card with 18 minutes left, and the Hokie fans at Thompson Field cheered for Florida State potentially being down a player if she were to receive another.
Fans erupted again when in the 78th minute Virginia Tech was able to get the equalizer to tie the game up once again, leaving Florida State in disbelief. The goal came from Allyson Brown off a cross from Grace Sklopan. However, Hokie Jordan Hemmen was given a red card for kicking a Seminole while down in the 86th minute, and Virginia Tech was demoted to only 10 players for the remainder of the game. However, Virginia Tech’s defense held off the Seminoles and the game entered overtime.
Tension rose on the field in overtime as both teams attempted to avoid double-overtime. For the majority of the 10 minutes, the ball remained dangerously close to Virginia Tech’s goal, but no Seminole was able to connect with the back of the net.
With 4:11 left in the second overtime period, Leilanni Nesbeth sealed the game up for Florida State and extended its win streak to nine games. Virginia Tech walked away heartbroken with its third draw in the series.
Tech will go on to face North Carolina State on Oct. 13 in Raleigh, North Carolina. NC State has recently come up with a draw against top-ranked UVA. A top 10 matchup lies ahead for the Seminoles as they gear up to face UVA also on Oct. 13.
“We’ll re-group, get their minds right, and get on the road with the Wolfpack,” Adair said.